“Building a New Photoreal Facial Pipeline for Games”

In 2017, Speaker Series, Talks by

Utah Graphics Seminar & EAE Game Lecture Series Present:

Title: Emotional Challenge: Building a New Photoreal Facial Pipeline for Games – Featuring Cyrus Wilson and Alex Smith
Date: Sept 19th, 12:30-2pm
Location: Sorenson Building (SMBB 2650)
Open to the public

In recent years the expected standard for facial animation and character performance in AAA video games has dramatically increased. This presentation will chronicle development at Activision of photogrammetric capture techniques for actor-likeness acquisition and video-based facial performance capture solving methods, including our latest advances recently presented at DigiPro 2017.

We will cover challenges encountered applying such research developments in game production in general, as well as specific challenges for applying central technologies in content creation pipelines across Activision.

Alex Smith completed his MA in Digital Games at Liverpool John Moores University in 2001. Prior to this he earned an honors BA in Fine Art from the Manchester Metropolitan University. Alex has worked in the games industry for 17 years as an animator, senior animator, lead animator and currently as Animation Director. He has worked on numerous game titles while at Acclaim Entertainment, Treyarch, and currently at Activision.

Cyrus completed his Ph.D. in Biochemistry at Stanford University in June 2006, where he combined molecular manipulations, video microscopy, and computer vision techniques to elucidate how simple processes at the molecular scale could organize to produce coordinated movement at the much larger scale of a whole cell. After wrapping up his work at Stanford, Cyrus performed research in computational photography at Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs, and then moved to the USC Institute for Creative Technologies; first as a postdoctoral research associate in the Graphics Lab, and then as a senior research associate in the Art Group and later joined Rhythm & Hues Studios as a principal graphics scientist. He is currently Director of production engineering at Activision.